AAPA confirms roadworks are an essential service

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The Australian Asphalt Pavement Association (AAPA) has verified, through discussions with government bodies across the Australia, that roads and related roadworks are essential services.

In a statement AAPA CEO Carlos Rial highlighted that under a number of the Essential Services Acts across the nation it can be understood that roads and associated roadworks activities support the essential functions needed during evolving conditions.

The statement reads, safe reliable road access protects the community against the interruption and dislocation of essential services, which is the purpose of many of these acts.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack also said in a statement that essential infrastructure projects would move forward despite the COVID-19 epidemic because of their long-term value to regional communities.

“We’re powering ahead with vital infrastructure projects like this because we understand just how important investments are to regional economies in this difficult time,” Mr McCormack said.

“Contractors will be complying with all relevant health advice to ensure their safety.”

Mr. Rial noted that roads are the nations arteries and they offer an essential service to support the following;

  • The needed freight that supplies business and consumers in critical times.
  • The need for safe entry for emergency services, remote and susceptible communities as well as the mines, ports and farms that keep the economy running.
  • The need to keep people employed as roadworks give a positive impact of additional employment for both skilled and semi-skilled workers in both regional and metropolitan areas.
  • The need for well-maintained roads to help safeguard the lives of those using them.

To keep this essential service going, Mr. Rial noted it must be done in a safe fashion and deliver the objectives of government to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

He said in the statement that he is proud to see the industry employing best practice government advice through onsite instructions that prevent the risk of transferring the virus.

Some of these methods include maintaining a safe social distance, maintaining good hygiene and having action strategies to prepare for the event of flu like symptoms presenting on site.

“Our members do have contingency plans and business continuity plans with clear COVID-19 policies that are communicated to all staff and I commend them for this,” Mr. Rial said.

“COVID-19 is highly contagious, I am confident our industry will continue to implement best practice as defined by health authorities, to ensure our essential service can continue to be safely delivered for the community and also prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

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